Toddler Parenting Situation Needing Help

by Summer

Hi, I am a stay@home mom with a bright, spirited 17 month old son, Elijah. My husband and I live in Italy right now, (he is Italian, I am American), while my husband studies architecture for the next 5-6 years. I am still adjusting to living in a different country and having to learn the language. The hardest thing that I am going through right now is not having any family around to help out or to be with. I mean, my husband has two sisters (one with 2 kids and the other no children or plans for children ever) and his father. The sister-in-law is waiting on her visa to go to the States where the rest of my in-law are. They should be there in about 6 months give or take. My parents are in the States as well, but are often too busy or on the work, they do construction, so they are gone for several months at a time and out of state. We seem to be the family always on our own too, not sure why, but we are.

My question is that does it hurt a child to only have his mom and dad around? Or not to really have grandparents, aunts, cousins and such around. He has one grandfather here, who does love him, but is it enough? My husband and I are trying for baby #2, but with me having PCOS, its a rocky road right now of treatments. We are hopeful God will bless us, but there is that possibility that are son will be the only one. We are starting a pre-preschool in September, but that is months away and only for 4 months. Is there something I can do to assure that he wont be lonely? I kinda feel like I'm cheating him by not having a lot of family. Im not sure if you can answer this or if there is any answer, but thanks for taking the time to read this!

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Your doing fine
by: Ingrid from Toddlers Are Fun

Hi Summer,

I first would like to Thank You for taking the time to write my site with your questions. Your concern in itself lets me know that you are a great Mom who truly cares about their toddler and his well being. I would love to try and answer your question the best way I know how. I am in a similar family situation so I can speak to you honestly and hopefully give comfort to you about your worries.

Your question was "does it hurt a child to only have his mom and dad around?".

In my opinion I do feel that the more positive, loving people around a child the better. However, there are situations in this life that are out of our control. Summer as long as you and your husband give your son as much love and attention as you possibly can. That is all you can do. I want to let you know that I am estranged from my father and two sisters currently. We are also completely estranged from my husband's family. My son only has my mom and one sister. Through all of the "rough times" my husband and I came to the conclusion that we are our own family. We do have friends and that makes up for a great deal of it.

I have often asked myself some of the same questions that you are. I felt like I was robbing my son of family. However, he goes to pre-school and church and is surrounded by other positive people other than my husband and I. It is funny how life works. We are not in control of everything. We sometimes think that life should be a certain way but God has our ultimate plan. I want you to know that have you also thought about joining toddler/ mom groups? I am not sure if it works the same in Italy. You can go to a local park or play groups to maybe meet other moms with toddlers. It is just a suggestion you may be willing to try.

I hope that this helps out Summer. I commend you for being a GREAT MOM. I can only imagine how hard it must be for you living in another country feeling all alone. Feel free that if you need a "friend" to talk to I am here. We can always use more friends in this life. My friends have proven to be more loyal, and true to me then my own blood family.

Take care,
Ingrid Toddlers-Are-Fun

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